Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: the Victorians do the 18th Century

Oh dear!  Poor Adrian!  Last week most of you did not like his striped peasant ensemble.  Only Lauren stood up for Adrian as a designer; the other comments were a chorus of “Ewwww”, “bleck” and “sickly sweet”.  The frock with the floppy pockets flopped at 4.4 out of 10

This week I’m tempting fate by sticking with sickly sweet.  Frederico Andreotti was an Italian painter noted for his romantic, nostalgic, and frankly sentimental paintings of a imaginary 18th century world.

The frocks in Andreotti’s paintings are an intriguing mix of rococo and late Victorian styles.  Today we are looking at a lady in a flowered pink frock,  caught up over a striped white and yellow underskirt, with a white stomacher, blue bows in hair, ruffles and frills galore and a decidedly coquettish expression.

Frederico Andreotti, An Afternoon Tea (detail) late 1880s

Federico Andreotti, An Afternoon Tea, late 1880s

Her hair may be powdered, but the outfit is as much late 1880s in its aesthetic as it is 18th century.  What do you think?  Would you prefer a purer form or Victorian or Rococo fashion?  Does Victorian does Rococo work, but not in this instance?  Or does the mix of styles create a unique harmony all of its own?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10


  1. Ingrid says

    I agree!
    The Combination ist intriguing and it definitly works!
    I give 10/10 for this and start planning to do this…

  2. Zach says

    Mixing tid-bits from different time periods is one thing I absolutely love! Some may find it in bad taste, but i think it is an idea worthy of regular use. I especially love the different patterns on the dress–they are all different yet look like they were meant to be together. I’m not much for the blue ribbons (or, for that matter, the two’s creepy dark eyes), but I suppose it adds a touch of bright color to a calm and pastel wonder of a dress. The bow at the bottom point of the bodice is also somewhat distracting and not my favorite part, but, all in all, I love it!

    Ten out of Ten!

  3. I guess it’s a 9 for me. Something about it slightly rubs me the wrong way, I guess it’s all that drape on the side of the skirt (it looks as though that side of the skirt must be much heavier than the other, somehow). Otherwise – lovely!

    Although, being me, I’d be much more interested in that blue and white ensemble in the background… it looks either old-fashioned, or lower class.

    And I’m rather spooked by the lady’s looking “into the camera”. And by the painting’s composition in general that makes it look like a modern day snapshot photo.

  4. Somehow, I just don’t think it captures any of the lovely things about these different eras. The result is just a masquerade gown of dubious qualities. 3?

  5. Dear me, it’s so not accurate, but it’s completely gorgeous. I would wear it every day. 10/10

    • Elise says

      I agree–so very pretty but not very accurate at all. I think it is very sweet, but something about the painting composition also rubs me the wrong way. I’d like to give it a 8. I don’t like the resolution at the bottom of the bodice.

  6. Here are some things I usually don’t like in a garment: pink, floral, and bows. This dress has it all. And I love it. I think everything is used in just the right proportions. I like the asymmetrical poof of the skirt. The bows on the shoulders don’t bother me. Even the bow at the very point of the bodice may be forgiven. Heck, I even like the contrasting blue bows in the hair. Major dress love.


  7. I love it, but I would love it more if there was another gather on the other side of the skirt. I like the fabric pattern combinations.

  8. Stella says

    I like it. It’s an interesting interpretation of 18th century dress, and I would wear it (unlike last week’s!). My only criticism is that all those different patterned fabrics do make it very “busy”, but overall a solid 9/10 from me.

  9. I love it, and I think it is so perfect because this is a gown that lived only in the artist’s imagination, and so he has painted a fantasy. 10 outa 10 would wear it all day everyday if it was mine.

  10. Daniel says

    Pink and yellow? Ergh. I do rather like a good/off the wall mish-mash of historical references but don’t like the yellow and pink together overmuch here. But I like the cut and construction, I think it’s very cute and sweet and really romantic and can see it really rocking as a 1880s masquerade costume.

    So, I’ll say 9 with a point off for the decision to match sunset pink with yellow stripes.

  11. Caroline says

    Hmmm… I wish I liked it more! I like a lot of the aspects, but I REALLY don’t like that super long stomacher and bow strangeness! Also the skirt just does not say 18th century to me, still, trying to be 18th century aside, it is sweet. Oh, and I’m not sure how I feel about those 3 patterns together! So well … mmm I guess 6/10. (???) I’ll think on it

  12. Madame Ornata says

    A lovely mix of the two, adore it EVERYTHING about it. 10/10


    10/10 (Very unoriginal rating for this dress! LOL!)

    I absolutely love it! And I NEVER wear pink!

  14. I’m not a floral girl, or ruffles, or bows, or pink, or really any of this, but I love it. It’s charming! The only problem with the painting is the man’s slightly creepily excited expression, but that certainly is not the gown’s fault. I’d give it 10/10.

    • Totally agree on the man’s expression! Andreotti’s men always creep me out big time. I find myself trying to figure out if they were meant to be creepy, or if he actually thought they were attractive!

      • I hope he didn’t think that was attractive. If he did it would give me serious doubts about what he was like himself???

        Expression aside, though, his clothes are lovely.

  15. dawn s says

    8 because I don’t like the assymetry of the skirt. Otherwise, very lovely.

  16. Hayley says

    Well I think the man’s creepily excited expression, her coquettish smile AND the assymetrical bunched up skirt can all be explained….

    he’s got his hand up the back of her skirt and giving her a fingerbang.

    Other than that, it’s a great dress. 8/10

  17. Well, given that the 1880s and the 1770s(ish…) are two of my favorite silhouettes and fashion aesthetics–I LOVE it! It’s admittedly much sweeter than anything I would wear, but the yellow and pink are perfect together–very shabby chic in the mixed patterns and pastels. It may be a historical fantasy, but it’s a beautiful one! I do wish that the skirt draping was a touch less bunchy and that she’d lose the bows on the bottom of the gown’s bodice. And I really want to do something else with her hair–it looks more cone-head than elegant 18th century (or elegant 19th century). So–a 9 out of 10 for a not quite perfect.

    As an aside, despite his creeper demeanor, I love the gentleman’s blue and white ensemble as well.

  18. Alexandra says

    I do like the mix of the two eras, but I’m not as gushy as some. Perhaps because as an historic costumer I know I couldn’t get away with it. Even looking at some of the costumes actresses wore in their cabinet cards, you get the impression that they were still more accurate than this one.


  19. I’d totally rock this dress. 9/10, only because I do not like the striped yellow skirt. I love the asymmetrical gathering of the pink skirt. The deep-V/stomacher thing tied in with it? Yes, please!

  20. Well, I love the concept of other periods’ interpretations of…other periods. (Basically, no matter how hard we try to be a million percent accurate, our contemporary aesthetic is going to filter through our designs in some subtle way.) and in other time periods, they kind of embraced that. I’m particularly fond of finding photo books that chronicle 19th century fancy-dress balls, because it’s an absolute treasure trove of this weird niche.
    That being said, this dress is kind of too pinky-pinky stereotypical-victorian-idealization-of-the-dresden-shepherdess look for me to be 10 out of 10 on it. balance is great on the design, there is a lovely co-ordination between the fabrics, (Stripes + florals in different colors, not giving me a headache- good job!) but it just feels like it’s a little too… safe. Or too easy- and it seems like a kind of uninteresting take on the genre. So I give it a 7. (But I’m being particularly picky, as I was blown away by the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit last week in Montreal, so I’m really all about fashion going for the gut-shot right now!) 😉

  21. Melissa says

    I love it, and I can’t even completely figure out why! It is a very elegant intersection of the two centuries. The only thing I don’t like very much is the horizontal draping of her dress around the hips, it widens the silhouette in a somewhat unflattering way. I also love her escort’s outfit.


  22. I absolutely love it. I love the elegant assymetry of the skirt, the whole darn thing. 10.

  23. I … like this, but I can’t explain why. (I think I used to have a top from Tempest with a similar colour and pattern as the pink dress. maybe that’s it.) I give it a 9 out of 10.

    also, does the model look just like Lady Gaga to anyone else?

  24. The individual components (bodice, panniers, colors, prints, trim) are quite pretty, but the combination is unfortunate. A 3, for foolishly attempting to combine two conflicting aesthetics in the same costume.

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